Flying with Baby: Travel Tips for Flying with a Toddler 12-24mos.

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If you were nervous about flying with baby, just wait until they turn one! I hesitate to call babies in this age category toddlers, though technically if they *toddle* I guess they’re toddlers.

I still called Bub a baby even when he turned three and was precariously close to being deemed a preschooler.

But I digress…

From Flying with Baby to Flying with Toddler…

Even if you have a well-traveled infant, all bets are off once they enter the world of young toddlerhood. Our son was the kind of easy, dreamy infant that if he wasn’t mine I would not have believed it. However, on his first birthday, he lay down and threw a fit over something minuscule. I was left wondering what happened to my angel baby?

He’s still here. But, as things change for your little one with toddlerhood, you need to change your expectations. And, you need to come up with new tricks for managing sticky situations. Flying with a toddler is no exception. And young, pre-verbal toddlers can definitely give you a run for your money.

Our Experiences Flying with a Young Toddler…

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Toddler on a plane… Scarier than snakes?

Due to school and work commitments, we really did not fly with Bub too much during this age. We went to Jamaica when he was 16mos., a trip to Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba, and a biggie to Walt Disney World. With our daughter, we also had two trips at this age – Florida, and Jibacoa, Cuba.

We did NOT have any major (or minor, for that matter) incidents, although I sure fretted before each and every flight, more so than just flying with baby.

Flying with a Toddler: Biggest Concerns

Our son was soooooo busy. He couldn’t sit still for more than 10 minutes. Still can’t! He was slow to talk and, if he got frustrated, he’d sometimes yell, hit, or bite. These were tough stages and phases to get through.

Even though his sister flew like a champ at this age, I was nervous about flying with him. In spite of all my in-flight experience and travel preparation, I was pretty terrified that we’d be the recipient of massive stink eye. Truthfully I don’t care about this, but I tend to mouth off and might get myself in trouble. Or, even worse, I was afraid we’d be one of those news stories and get kicked off the plane.

Flying with a Toddler: The Reality

Even though our son was so busy, as a young toddler he flew well. As with his earlier travels as a young infant and an older baby, we did not have relaxing, stress-free flights. But he did sleep for some of them. And though we tired of multiple rounds of peek-a-boo, he did not, so we kept going.

Plus? Snacks. Lots and lots of snacks.

For our first flight when my daughter was a toddler, I discovered the power of potato chips and have not looked back. Snacks that are fun and/or cute have excellent staying power. Always try to do salty instead of sweet (plus salt = more drinking which is good for clearing ears). Save lollipops or gummies for landing so the sugar is not burnt off mid-flight. Juice is allowed as a treat, but watered down… Again, to try to cut down the sugar load.

We traveled with a portable dvd player, but the iPad was the biggest game-changer for us. Our son had a few favourite apps and shows, and would happily sit and play or watch wearing his super-cute toddler headphones. I actually watched chunks of movie during this stage, so I fully embrace technology.

Flying with a Toddler: Extra Consideration

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Almost ready to be helpful… Almost.

You know your toddler. And you know best how to manage their moods and what can set them off. Hunger and tiredness are obvious ones. On travel days, both are difficult to avoid. Being prepared with lots of snacks and their comfort items at the ready can help.

If you’re planning on ditching the pacifier or bottle soon, maybe do so after your trip. Although I’ve heard logic that things are thrown off so it’s an easy way to let those items disappear, for my own sake I’ve never tried. Just knowing I had a “dodie” or “bubba” at the ready put me at ease whenever it seemed a toddler meltdown was imminent.

And the usual flying with baby advice holds here with toddlers… Try to keep them eating, drinking, or sucking during takeoff and landing, whether that’s by finger foods, nursing, a bottle, or a pacifier. Don’t be afraid to administer a bit of baby pain relief medicine if you think their ears are in pain. Both of my kids flew at nap times but did not sleep during their nap times. Usually they dropped off right before landing (a joy to wake up, let me tell you!). But, believe it or not, a toddler sleeping on a plane can be a thing.

Flying with a Toddler: Tales from the Road

Our flight to Jamaica was a dream, with Bub passing out about an hour after taking off and then playing and reading for the hour or so remainder once he woke up.

It was enough to make me smug to think it would happen again for our flight home.

Imagine my surprise when he drained his bubba and did NOT fall asleep as planned. WestJet does not serve milk on board (I was tempted to clean them out of the little milks used for coffee) so he and I had a little WWF match in our seat for about 90 minutes. He writhed and squirmed until (blessedly) the in-flight TVs finally restarted and distracted him enough to fall asleep.

On one flight to Walt Disney World, I was solo with him on my lap. Again, he dozed for most of it until he woke up and unleashed the contents of his stomach (including a full bubba of milk – blech!) all over us. That prompted his sister to do the same. It took a while to clean us all up, and we didn’t smell pretty. Once we made it to Disney our first stop was The Polynesian’s laundromat!

We all survived. We did not get kicked off planes. And people were actually friendly and nice to us. The horror stories and their accompanying comments on the Internet do not reflect most people’s realities. At all.

I feared this stage of flying with baby the most. Truthfully, as people, toddlers are generally easier to manage. It’s their unpredictability that drives fear into parents before they pre-board (or choose not to pre-board).

As with before every flight as a parent, you just have to be prepared.

Useful Tips for Flying with a Toddler:

  • This is your first opportunity flying with baby that baby can comprehend instructions. Telling them about the trip will help get them excited. Telling them what is expected of them can actually help. Toddler travel books are a great idea!
  • Have your carry-on bag stocked and organized. Do not waste precious luggage space with goody bags for adults.
  • Have that tablet loaded and charged. But DO have some old-school distractions on hand and try to offer those first. Once the tech comes out it’s hard to go back.
  • Under twos still do not require their own seat on an airplane. But if the flight is long and/or your baby is big, you may find the expense of their own seat and the struggle of installing their car seat as worthy investments in your sanity.

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79 Responses to Flying with Baby: Travel Tips for Flying with a Toddler 12-24mos.

  1. Melani at #

    This is a great site! I have just traveled from Arizona to New Jersey with my 21 month old twins (just the three of us!). This made their 9th round trip by plane and the most trying. A mechanical difficult resulted in a 3.5 hour layover with no stroller!

    However, all thing considered, the kids did pretty well — excluding a portion of the first flight (see below)! Small melt downs on the flight due to hunger and popping ears, but no “stink eyes”. My tip… Travel at night! If there is an overnight or bedtime flight, they usually sleep the majority of the trip (& so do I)! My best advice… Avoid the “hour of power”, that time when nap time is wearing off, dinner time is near and bedtime isn’t much farther off after that. For us, that usually any flight between 4p and 730p departure. I have had my worst travel experiences at that time, including the first flight of this last return trip.

    Keep up the good information! Thanks.

    • Corinne at #

      Thanks, Melani! Good point about the “witching” hour – it’s unpleasant no matter where you are!

    • Bill at #

      I don’t get it. WHY should “non-parents” be REQUIRED to deal with the stench. And noise. And obnoxiousness….Of YOUR spawn? “Kids-will-be-kids?” REALLY? K. I’m an adult. Who (unlike a kid) is PAYING for my flight. So…I should be allowed to fart. Burp. Poop where I sit. Scream. Annoy flight attendants…Etc., etc, etc. ALL BECAUSE PARENTS ARE “MEMEME/F the rest of you people…”

      • Corinne at #

        Not sure what airline you fly, Bill, but kids also pay airfare–and usually full price! And my guess is you probably already do all those things, but you’re not still growing and learning. So what’s your excuse for being a jerk?

        • Smom at #

          Why is Bill even on a page that was designed to give parents tips about kids. If you don’t have kids but your reading a page on traveling with little ones you either have no job/life or your a creep. Either way kids pay for airfare as well, just as much as you did. As for the smell, we can’t help that happens when your open your mouth, maybe try brushing your teeth instead of blaming the babies.
          PS there’s tons of therapy out there for people with mommy issues likes you. Enjoy your day. I know you have trouble with that.

      • kill bill at #

        Bill your a troll and a c#^t

      • Pat at #

        Parents are aloud to vacation with their children, just as anyone else. Do you expect them to stay at home and isolate their children and not enjoy the luxuries of life just so they don’t meet a person like you? Don’t be such an ass towards kids and their parents…We were all kids once…even you!

      • Dew at #

        Dude, wtf is your problem?
        You’re one of those guys that i will consciously annoy, and i will enjoy it.
        You probably never had kids, or can’t afford them, or maybe no woman would want to have a child with you.
        Get a life and stop trolling.
        What are you doing on this site in any case?

      • Karma at #

        Karma will get you sir.

        • Karma at #

          Referring to the man who will indeed shit in his Depends. All alone. karma is waiting for you ………..

      • Karma at #

        Referring to the man who will indeed shit in his Depends. All alone. karma is waiting for you ………..

      • Nat at #

        Because at one point in time, you were the noise and the obnoxiousness and it is now your turn to endure the things you had done when you were little. It’s a cycle and just like the adults back then, you will deal with it.

      • Parent1 at #

        Stfu Bill. You obviously dont have a clue.

      • Stacey w at #

        Clearly don’t have kids yourself! You have to pay for kids too so they have the same right as you do on that plane! How are you supposed to stop a child farting and burping, you do these things, it’s a natural thingyour body does! Absolute bellend I really detest people like you! Were you not a child once. You would have cried , screamed burped and farted! Hope everyone time u travel you have a screaming child who’s farts stink and is sick all down the back of your seat sat next to you. Enjoy your travels prick! Parents feel anxious enough travelling with children they don’t need obnoxious people like you passing judgement!

      • MELISSA at #

        BILL i’m pretty sure you’re a c**t that dislikes kids, I hope you have 10 kids one day and you will realize that children are young and don’t understand what’s going on. we cant control If they throw up, cry, fart or poop. IM PRETTY SURE THAT IF YOU EVER HAVE KIDS AND TRAVEL YOU WOUDLNT LIKE SOMEONE SAID THE SAME EXACT THING YOU JUST SAID TO US PARENTS. they are CHILDREN AKA HUMAN BEINGS. and children flights are full price if they get their own seat on the plane so excuse my French but F**K YOU! you think youre better bc you don’t have any kids. kids are our future so respect them! one day you’re going to be an old fart who cant control their bowels and fart whenever needed and you’re going to expect ppl to understand why you do it. I DONT EVEN UNDERSTAND WTF YOU ARE ON THIS PAGE IF YOU DONT HAVE ANY KIDS. EVEN BEFORE I HAD MY SON AND I TRAVELED I NEVER SAT THERE AND SAY WHAT YOU ARE SAYING ABOUT CHILDREN THATS CRYING OR ANYTHING. HOW DARE YOU!!!!! GO TO HELL YOU BASTARD

      • :D at #

        Bill never grew up by the sounds of it. Act your age, not shoe size bill.

      • Brooke at #

        Funny, the most annoying air passengers I’ve dealt with have never been children or babies…

      • Robby Lang at #

        Bill… shit and bark at the moon. I hope explosive diarrhea fills your seat.

      • Billsfriend at #

        Wow Bill,

        the way this is written, it is hard to believe you are actually an adult or defiantly not a mature one yet or one who hasn’t considered therapy. Congratulations for wanting to have the freedom of shitting in your own seat. By all means ,please do that. Many small children also have actually a paid seat but they have only been existing in the world for about 3 years and are still learning about the world and its works, unlike yourself who has had some learning issues along the way it seems. Alot of children also actually have a paid seat and are learning how not to be assholes like yourself. Let me know how that works out for you and i with the attitude and manners that you have towards other human beings, happy to hear that you are childless and may it stay that way.

  2. Kristi at #

    Informative website! My husband and I are considering flying with our triplets when they will be 18 months old next March/April to visit my family for the first time in Arizona. Since we live just outside of Washington DC, this will be a 4-5 hour flight. My husband is adamant that all three babies sit in car seats instead of on our laps. It will just be the two of us flying with them. Do you think that it could be possible to pull this off without major stress and drama?? My husband feels that we should wait until they are 24 months, but I REALLY want to go home for my family’s big Easter reunion, as this is the best time to see everyone all in the same place and at the same time. Thanks for your insight! 🙂

    • Corinne at #

      Hi Kristi!

      Three car seats will be a challenge, but as a mom of triplets I’m guessing you’re used to that! As they are under two, they are required to ride in a car seat if they are in their own seat. With the clever use of a stroller, bungee cords, and wheelie suitcases you can make it through the airport. It may make sense to invest in “travel” car seats that are lightweight and easy to install. Fingers crossed your airline has family pre-boarding! Let me know what you decide!

      • Kate at #

        We bought one of these when my almost 9 year old was little and it makes flying with little ones so much easier!
        It’s a harness that attaches to the seat so you don’t have to lug around a car seat. Love it!

    • Danica at #

      Instead of a car seat, we are renting one when we get there. I bought what they call a CARES harness for the plane! It fits in your carry on! 🙂 look it up 🙂 available on Amazon!

  3. Lindsey at #

    Thanks for all the posts!

    We’ve tandem a lot with our daughter starting with a trip to Italy when she was 6 weeks old. Everything changed on our last trip because it wad the first trip she was on where she could walk. I was traveling alone work her at 13 months and she wouldn’t stop moving, loved running up and down the aisle. She didn’t make a peep, just like to visit all the people. It was a 4 hr flight and I’m pregnant, so it was exhausting for me. We are flying to Hawaii in 2 weeks and I’m preparing. She’s not interested in tv, so I’m trying to figure out games and toys to bring, any thoughts?


  4. AMANDA at #

    I am about to travel with my 18 month old son, hes a busy body and im really concerned about his ears.. any tips or help is appreciated !

    • Corinne at #

      Be prepared, Amanda! Have an arsenal of snacks and distractions at the ready, and don’t fear the use of technology. Good luck and let us know how it goes!!

  5. Sarah at #

    I have two questions, one re: travel and one re: your son. What is the farthest you’ve flown with a lap baby/toddler? I’m flying from NM to NY with my 18 month old in my lap, which I think will be fine because the longest flight we will be on is four hours. However, in the summer we will be flying to England, and I’m trying to decide whether or not to purchase a separate seat for baby because it’s SO expensive. My second question is about the comment you made that your son was slow to talk. My son is also very busy and isn’t talking. How old was your son when he started talking? Right now, his only words are “hi, kitty”. Thank you.

    • Corinne at #

      Hi Sarah!

      The longest I’ve flown with a lap infant is four hours, and honestly by hour three I was wishing I’d forked over the cash for a seat. When they get that big, it gets old real fast. That said for your England flight I would definitely try to finagle a seat if you can. He’ll be too big for a bassinet (if you could even book one) but British Airways has a toddler seat in the bulkhead–I don’t know if that would be an option?

      We ended up getting Bub tested when he was about 2 1/2. Turns out he was just fine and kind of had no need to talk since we finished all his sentences for him. A combination of taking away the pacifier (more traumatic for me than him, actually) and making him “work” for things a bit really helped. Now he talks non-stop!

  6. Carin at #

    Awesome tips but they all seem related to small flights…when I say small flights i’m comparing to my normal flights that are 24-30h!!!! Only two stops – 14h + 8-10 h – from Australia to Europe!
    Any good tips on these kind of monster flights?
    I’ve traveled with my my big boy while he was 6months old and 15 months old (and pregnant)…all good, but this year i’m traveling with big boy, almost 2.5years old and little boy 10 months old.
    We’ve traveled within Australia (3-4h flights) easily with both boys but this time – next week yikes! – I’m travelling by myself with both… wish me luck!

    • Corinne at #

      Yes, Carin–your flights are definitely marathons in comparison! Perhaps double or triple the advice given? I wish I could be of more help–perhaps you could share some tips with us?

    • Lyss at #

      How did you handle the huge flights? Did you buy seats for both kids? I’m brand new to all this and thinking of flying to London from Sydney with a 1.5 year old. But would like to avoid buying a seat for him if possible. Can you give me some insight into how the kids handle it?

      • Corinne at #

        Depending on the airline, you could book a bulkhead seat that would be easier to manage with a lap infant (toddler). He would be too big for a bassinet that some airlines offer, but others (like British Airways) offer “Child Seats” there as well. For such a long flight truly you would both be happier and more comfortable in your own seats but I totally understand about budgetary concerns.

    • Maggie at #

      Hi Carin… Any tips from your long haul flight? I will be travelling alone from Jakarta to Auckland (15 hours including stopover in Sydney) with an almost 3 years old and a 4 months old in 2 weeks time, Coming here last week was a nightmare. My toddler couldn’t sleep comfortably in her seat and demanded a cuddle and I had my 2 hands full with the baby on my lap as we couldn’t get a bassinet then. I am now terrified of my flight going back to Auckland. Any tips would help…

      • Corinne at #

        Hi Maggie–I don’t blame you for dreading the flight! Possible to bring your toddler’s car seat on board? Would she sleep more comfortably in that? If you can’t secure a bassinet perhaps wearing baby in a sling and putting armrest up for toddler to put her head on your lap and stretch out a bit? Forgive me if I’m saying things you’ve already done…

  7. Marlena at #

    How do you get around once you get to your destination? We have an in lap toddler on the plane. Do we have to bring a car seat for the cab ride from the airport to our hotel? What about island tours and bus excursions? Do is cost a lot to check a car seat?

    • Corinne at #

      Hi Marlena!

      It depends on where you are going and how many excursions you are planning on taking. A lot of airport transfers are by coach or bus, which don’t require car seats. It may well be worth it to bring along a lightweight car seat purchased specifically for travel, gate check it, and then you are sorted for any taxi travel you may do. Does this help? It should not cost anything to gate check your car seat.

  8. Marlena at #

    We have an in lap toddler on the plane. How do you get around once you get to your destination? From airport to hotel, around the island and any excursions….

    • Corinne at #

      Hi Marlena!

      It depends on where you are going and how many excursions you are planning on taking. A lot of airport transfers are by coach, which don’t require car seats. It may well be worth it to bring along a lightweight car seat purchased specifically for travel, gate check it, and then you are sorted for any taxi travel you may do. Does this help?

  9. Sathya at #

    Hi…. Thanks for your info. Well I had a question. My twin Angels are 20 months old now. I had a plan to travel on a domestic flight. Can I take both of them at the same time without others help(husband or parents)? Otherwise my husband should come and take us ( double expense

    • Corinne at #

      Hi Sathya!
      I don’t think you can travel with two lap infants. You will need to purchase a seat for at least one of them if you plan on travelling with them solo. If you purchase a seat for one of them you will also need to bring a car seat or one of the CARES Harnesses (if they are big enough). Good luck!

  10. Jane at #

    I suffer from air sickness and I am apprehensive about travelling with my 14 months old for the first time. Flight will be about 12 hrs and it is a direct flight. Any tips please?

    • Corinne at #

      A direct flight is good, but you will be busy and it would be awful to be incapacitated with air sickness and have a toddler to look after. Would you be flying alone? Do you have a co-parent or partner that could assist?

  11. Kevin at #

    Love your info. Extremely helpful and calming my nerves a bit. I have a question about car seats. We have rented a car in Maui for our vacation. Our 13 month will obviously need one. We are concerned about checking our everyday car seat all the way to Maui in fear that it will get banged up and damaged by the airline. I know we could check it at the gate; however, I’d really prefer not to lug it around the airport.

    Do you normally take your everyday car seat and check it? Have you had any major problems? Thanks!

    • Corinne at #

      Hi Kevin! You could look into businesses that will meet you at the airport with a rental car seat. They are usually much more reputable than any rental car agency car seat. We invested in a lightweight (and very affordable) 2nd car seat that we used specifically for travel–the Cosco Scenera. We bungeed it to one of our rolling carry-ons, and it wasn’t a hassle to travel with at all–just one extra thing to think about, though. It came in handy at home to have an extra car seat as well. We used it in my mother-in-law’s car. Have a great trip–let us know how it goes!!

  12. Cassandra at #

    My husband and I will be flying with our 20 month old and we are debating on whether or not we should pick a non stop flight or have a couple hour layover. Shes never flown before and im afraid if we go non stop it would be too much about a 4-5hr flight. Suggestions?

  13. Jennifer at #

    We will be traveling with my almost 1 year old from LA to Boston this week. Any ipad apps you recommend that can be used offline to keep her entertained? I’ve tried Metamorphabet in the car, but she wasn’t too interested.


    • Corinne at #

      One is still pretty small to be very engaged with apps. Maybe a special show might keep her interest a bit better?

  14. Sheryll at #

    My husband and I are travelling with our 14-month old soon for 3-day trip to Chicago. This will be our first travel on air with the baby and was wondering on how you were able to deal with car seats. Did you have to check this in or are there car rentals that rent out car seats?


    • Corinne at #

      Hi Sheryll! Are you purchasing your son a seat on the plane? If so, you can install an FAA-approved car seat on board. If your son will be a lap infant, consider gate checking your car seat in a padded travel bag.
      Certainly you can rent a seat when you arrive in Chicago. I did a quick Google and found this place: Good luck and have a great trip!

  15. Macy at #

    Hi there,
    I’m planning on a flight from NM to Texas to visit my mom. I flew once when I was very young and don’t remember much of the flight. So, flying by myself with a 22 month old is making me extremely nervous. It’s only about a two hour flight, however, my son is a very independent outspoken (even though it’s mostly babble) child. He is notorious for throwing fits when he doesn’t get his way (which getting him to stay on my lap for 2 hours is not going to be easy). However, usually I can take him out of the room until the screaming stops. I have no idea how the flights work by myself, let alone with my very mobile and very curious child. I don’t have any electronics besides my cell phone, so I don’t think that will be an option. PLEASE HELP!

    • Corinne at #

      Hi Macy!

      Can you distract him with something new? Stickers or crayons? Does he like tearing magazines? Sometimes at home I’d have a stash of old ones I’d let my guys rip up and that might work for a plane, too. Also? Snacks. Lots and lots of snacks! Good luck and let us know how it goes!

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  17. George at #

    So I am travelling alone with my 16 months old son to south america in the middle seat for an 8 hours continuous flight. Any suggestions? It’d be an overnight flight but i’m trying to figure out how to help him go to sleep comfortably…any toddler carriers you suggest?

    • Corinne at #

      Hi George! When my kids were that big I could still carry them in the ergo, but it wouldn’t have been comfortable seated on a plane. Since it’s likely your son will sit on you sideways, with his legs dangling over one side of your lap, an option might be some kind of wrap or sarong? It could sub as a light blanket that you tie at your shoulder so at least he’s secure if you fall asleep too.

  18. Michelle at #

    Husband and I will be traveling for first time with a 4 month old, 15 month old and 2 1/2 year old from Los Angeles to Rome. One layover in Heathrow. Considering changing to business class flights for the comfort of extra leg room/space. Not sure if this is really going to make much of a difference or will be a waste of a lot of money. I’m not really concerned about my 4 month old as I am with our toddlers having room to stretch and sleep. I’ve been on flights with screaming children and have seen the reactions of other passengers and flight attendants and I am trying to prevent that “stink eye” and rude comments from child-hating jerks like Bill (from earlier post) from occurring. My other concern is changing diapers. I do not recall ever seeing any type of changing station in an airplane restroom. What is the most appropriate and least rude way to change poopy diapers during flight?

    • Corinne at #

      Hi Michelle! Upgrading to business class is purely up to you. Kids have plenty of room in regular airplane seats. Usually the change table is located in the washrooms in the rear of the plane. They typically fold down and are VERY small. Your 4-month-old will be fine, but your toddlers might fare better if you stand them up for diaper changes. I scrubbed down the surfaces with a wipe first, and then changed them standing up. It wasn’t as hard as it sounds, but getting the new diaper on was the tricky part. Don’t fret about the stink eye. You’ll get it even if your kids are angels. Hope for the best but prepare for the worst is my motto. Good luck!!

  19. Alexandra at #

    My son is thirteen months and when we fly he will be seventeen months. He is very active and is beginning to walk. Its impossible to keep him still and I dont think it is good to make him walk through the plane. Also, this is my first time traveling with him with my two other daughters. Any suggestions?

    • Corinne at #

      Hi Alexandra! It is perfectly normal to be nervous but don’t worry too much. It is a tough age to keep a busy tot still, but lots of books and distractions can help. If you have not yet introduced the iPad or other type of tablet or tech, this could be your lifeline! It was around that age that my busy bee could be distracted for longer stretches with a show. Going for a walk is always my last resort. Good luck!

      • Alina at #

        Hi Corinne.. i am travelling by myself with my 17 months old baby upcoming week. He is very active and can’t stay still. Its 18 hours flight at 8 pm (almost his sleeping time) i have prepared for some distractions for him such as ipad cartoons and his favourite toys. But i am bit concerned if i show him ipad that may disturb other passengers. I am not sure if i can use child safe headset for 17 months. I am already panicking.
        Also can u please suggest me to take some baby foods.. is pasta and yogurt in packet allowed?

        • Corinne at #

          Hi Alina!
          Child-safe headphones are totally fine to use and most toddlers don’t even mind watching with the sound off. That is a long flight with a busy little boy but at bedtime follow his routine as best you can and try to model sleeping behaviour so he follows. Those traveling with children under two are exempt from the liquid restrictions, so his usual drinks and snacks should be allowed. Be sure to keep all of his things together and separate from the rest of your carry-on so it’s easy to show it’s just for him. Good luck!

  20. I fear how my daughter will endure a three hour flight in a couple of weeks. She can sit still for some time, but unless she’s sleeping she’s constantly doing something or moving. I’m afraid that other passengers will hate us for not being able to calm her down. We already got some toys that keep her interest for a longer time, and I guess food will do the job the best, she especially is calm when she has some bread. Gosh. it’s gonna be a real circus.

    • Corinne at #

      Try not to worry too much, Alicia–you will do great and don’t sweat the bystanders who’d rather hate on a busy mom than help her. Good luck!

  21. Ellie at #

    I’m traveling alone with a VERY ACTIVE AND BUSY 14 month old in September. (I’m a single mom so I’m used to being alone with her). I have a back carrier to free my arms. But I am anxious about getting through security and not sure what to do about a diaper bag. Has anyone done this type of thing?Very inexperienced traveler here.

    • Corinne at #

      Hi Ellie! If your daughter is traveling as a lap infant, confirm with your airline that you will be entitled to bring on board a diaper bag just for her. Airlines differ on their policies, and you may have to incorporate your diaper bag into the remainder of your carry-on. Baby will have to come out of the carrier to go through security, the carrier will have to go through the machine. Will you be bringing a carry-on? Does it have wheels? If it has wheels, can you attach your diaper bag to it somehow? Hope this is helpful!

  22. Hayley at #

    Great post with some excellent advice. As an avid traveler and mum-to-be it’s great that there are so many posts like this out there! 🙂 A friend of mine recently wrote a guest post for me about her experiences when traveling to California from the UK that I think you and your readers would like!

  23. Amy at #

    Omg! Ty so much for this blog thingy 🙂 im traveling from Pa to Ca next week with my 2 almost 3 yr ol and my 16 month old by myself next week, not to mention by myself. I was super nervous untill i read this. Ty again.

    • Corinne at #

      Thank you for your kind words, Amy–I hope you have a great flight!

  24. Maria at #

    Great advice so far. I will be travelling for the first time with my 13 month old to Europe from Australia with two stops ( only option available and will be a total of almost 30 hours including stop overs) and was wondering what everyone does for food etc? Does the liquid ban apply to baby food and drink? And how do I keep it cool if I can’t bring ice packs on board???? Help! I’m scared! Fussy eater

    • Corinne at #

      The liquid ban does not apply to those traveling with a baby under 2. Keep everything together and organized and prepare to show for inspection frequently. Easiest if you can use mixes that can be prepared with bottled water. Good luck!

  25. Julia at #

    Hi all,

    While I´ve done long haul flights quite often and last time with my girls aged 6mths and 2.5yrs, this time I´m very nervous. I´m busy writing packing lists well in advance. Travelling with my girls now aged 6, 4 and an almost 2yr old boy (who will be on my lap) from Europe to Australia. With stops/layovers the trip will be 26hrs door to door. My 4yr never sits still for movies either. The 2 year old, hmmm, never sits still. Any tips.

    • Corinne at #

      Hi Julia!
      You may be surprised by your toddler (and your 4 year old!) if you’ve travelled with them fairly frequently they will know what is expected of them and that there is a payoff after the journey. That will be along journey with your son on your lap, if at ALL possible, try to get him a seat. Don’t be afraid of bribes and/or rewarding good behaviour with treats. That’s now how I parent day-to-day but it helps to survive travel days! My son wouldn’t and couldn’t sit still for two seconds, and was really dreading our first flight with him at this age, and he really surprised me. My fingers are crossed that you’ll be pleasantly surprised too!

  26. Egyptra at #

    Thanks for sharing such a great post..!!!

  27. Shanita Hightower at #

    My daughter will be making her very first flight the day before she turns two. It’s cross country {Atl to Seattle} at 6am and she is considered a lap child on the way there but will need her own seat on the way back. We’re considering buying a travel car seat but don’t know what kind of seat would be appropriate…any suggestions? This is my first time on a plane in 30 years and with a toddler to boot!

  28. Anaya at #

    Kids are our bundle of joy, and during travelling they can be very unpredictable and you should have all the essentials with you, I recently got a diaper rash cream and it is such a useful product to have. The natural diaper rash cream by the moms co works amazingly on diaper rashes! Must have!

  29. Emma at #

    We are flying with an 18 month old soon and he is as sassy as me lol. I am on the search for survival tips and found this very helpful thankyou !


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